Jessica Dayoan, 18, was killed in a Westminster car accident after a convertible driven by her brother, Jorel, crashed with another vehicle while racing a third car. According to a CBS news report, the fatal car accident occurred on Hoover Street just south of Hazard Avenue the evening of April 5, 2012. Officials say a red compact car driven by 19-year-old Jorel Dayoan appeared to be drag racing south on Hoover when the driver drifted into opposing lanes of traffic and collided with a silver minivan.
Jessica Dayoan died at the scene while her brother was transported to an area trauma center where he remains in critical condition. The driver of the minivan was also critically injured and remains hospitalized. Police are still looking for the driver who had been racing Dayoan prior to the crash. An investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jessica Dayaon for their heartbreaking loss. This is yet another tragic street-racing incident that has taken the life of a teenager. My heart also goes out to the driver of the minivan who has been seriously injured in this crash and was not involved in the racing. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with the Dayaon family.
Street Racing – Illegal and Lethal
Based on this news report, police say that the skid marks are indicative that the crash occurred at an extremely high speed. Officials suspect that Dayaon was drag racing with another vehicle at the time of the crash. Street racing is illegal under California law. California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) states: “A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest.”
Street racing or drag racing on a public roadway puts drivers, participants and innocent bystanders in grave danger. In this case, a young woman died and two other men, one of them an “innocent bystander,” suffered critical injuries. These types of senseless deaths are easily preventable. If you want to race, take your car to the track! The public roadway is certainly not the place to show off your driving skills. Often, we see that street racing involves youth. It is important that we as parents educate our children about the dangers of street racing. This should also be made part of driver’s education curriculum and integrated with safety education in our schools. It’s certainly an important message to get through to our young people.
Holding Wrongdoers Accountable
There are no winners in a street-racing accident. The drivers and participants of a speed contest can be held criminally and civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused. Penalties include but are not limited to jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, vehicle impound and a permanent arrest record.
I hope officials are able to find the other racing driver and bring him or her to justice. If you have any information about the third car involved in this crash, please visit our web site at www.hitandrunreward.com to offer an anonymous tip and to become eligible for a $1,000 reward.
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, injured victims or their families would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.